In 2003, Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, Best Buy human resources managers, were tasked with creating a more productive work environment for headquarter employees. They initially explored the idea of flextime, but discovered that for many, adjusting their work schedule wasn’t all that appealing. In fact, flexible office hours were surprisingly low on the list of priorities for employees.
After a bit more research, Ressler and Thompson realized that what truly motivated the Best Buy corporate staff was freedom to pursue results. After all, they’d been hired to accomplish a job. But the traditional office setting was stifling productivity and instead fostering complacency. That’s when the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) management philosophy was born.